The story “Suga denies Seoul pushing for Abe ‘comfort women’ apology at summit” in the Oct. 27 edition indicates that the series of meetings at the director level between Japan and South Korea went nowhere and may have turned into an impediment in the upcoming summit between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Park Geun-hye.
It is disappointing that the negotiations were an apparent failure, but not particularly surprising. Considering the Japanese government’s international campaign with a $500 million war chest to refute growing international awareness about this issue, many feel that these meetings were never really a good faith effort by the Abe administration.
What the two governments should have done is hold a proper bargaining with all stakeholders, including the victims from 11 different countries, especially those victims who have been — and still are — actively calling for the government of Japan to accept responsibility.
During their summit, Abe and Park should not miss the opportunity to fix this problem. Only when this tragic chapter of history is properly resolved by full acknowledgement, complete investigation, formal apology, legal reparations, prosecution of those responsible, education and memorials, the wounds will begin to heal and Japan will regain the trust of its neighbors that will lay the foundation for peace and stability in the region.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.